AGAPI Care celebrated International Women’s Day on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, at Normanby House in Thornbury, with an event attended by politicians, representatives of community organizations and members of the wider community, including several people disabilities.
The purpose of the event was to celebrate women, no matter where they come from, and to remind them that they are powerful. Focusing on honoring the cultural, political and socio-economic achievements of women, AGAPI Care’s goal was also to raise awareness of the struggles that many women have faced over the years and still face.
The Chief Operating Officer, Ms. Ange Pilipasidis, opened the event by thanking all those who attended and supported this cause, followed by a speech by the General Manager, Ms. Mary Gakopoulos. Celebrating the 111th anniversary of International Women’s Day.
Ms Gakopoulos reminded guests that since 1987 AGAPI Care has supported over 2000 people with disabilities and added that over the past two years the Emergency Relief Team has provided food and mental health support to people in need. She went on to say that equality between women and men is not a gender problem but in fact an economic problem.
“Women should share their stories, achievements and struggles to help other women see that they are not alone,” Ms Gakopoulos said.
Reminding everyone that AGAPI Care is led by two powerful women, Ms. Mary Gakopoulos and Ms. Ange Pilipasidis, the Chairman, Mr. Arthur Evriniadis, went on to say that AGAPI Care only hires people based on their abilities and does not discriminate against gender, creed, religion, ethnicity and so on.
Mr Evriniadis also stressed the importance of educating our children about equality saying that “how men treat women as adults depends on the values and upbringing they had when they were boys”.
Veteran Greek journalist, Ms. Rena Frangioudakis said that “Women’s Day is a day of reference in life, birth and duration and is a day of honor and the woman is the body that maintains and preserves it. “.
The Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, Mr. Emmanuel Kakavelakis, mentioned in his speech that women have come a long way in the last 111 years.
“Women have acquired positions in the areas of property, work, education and participation in the exercise of power.”
He added, however, that “we must not forget that women’s rights are human rights and that women and men are human beings and should not be discriminated against.”
One of the most moving speeches of the day was delivered by the Director of Operations of AGAPI Care, Mrs. Ange Pilipasidis, who told the story of a woman who was in an abusive relationship for several years until that she manages to escape and come to Australia to provide a better life for herself and her son.
“We must continue to educate our children and grandchildren that women are equal to men and only then can we say that we have created a world that we are proud of,” he said. she declared.
“Powerful, confident, invisible, unstoppable, are the key words that describe all women!”
Chair of the Multicultural Committee, Ms Vivienne Nguyen said the Greek community was the first to embrace other cultures in Victoria. Mrs. Vivienne Nguyen said she wanted to pay tribute to all the women who came before us and who fought so well so that we could live as we live today. She then thanked AGAPI Care for the great work they do in embracing different cultures and new social groups as well as providing support to vulnerable people.
Ms. Ged Kearney, MP thanked AGAPI Care for the great work it does and said she was proud to have AGAPI Care in her constituency. She then mentioned to the audience that at every meeting for people with disabilities she attends, the CEO of AGAPI Care is always there to stand up for people with disabilities and all those without a voice. Additionally, Ms. Kearney noted that it is mainly women who either work in care or become caregivers.
She also pledged to ensure that everyone can afford childcare, that care issues for the elderly are solved and that the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is properly funded so that “people with disabilities can get the care they need when they need it and have a respectful life” if elected.
Finally, Erica Higgins, Communications Officer at Indigenous Radio Station 3KND 1503ΑΜ, spoke about the challenges and discrimination that Indigenous women have faced over the years and mentioned the importance of equality, acceptance of all and education for all as a prerequisite for moving forward. and have prosperity.
After the heartfelt speeches, esteemed guests and community members enjoyed music and dancing.